Garden Giveaway: Grow Parsley, the Butterfly Magnet

| 3/7/2012 10:48:00 AM

PBHobson2Patsy Bell Hobson is blogging at Oh Grow Up!  When not in the garden or on the road, find her in southern Missouri USA. Read more travel stories at Striped Pot . Find more garden, travel and random rants on her Facebook .   

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a biennial, meaning it takes two years to mature and reproduce. It is grown and used mostly in its first year. If you live in a Zone, or have a microclimate, where parsley will overwinter, encourage it to do so.

Parsley is a member of the carrot family. When it blooms in its second year, the family resemblance to its cousin Queen Ann's Lace (Daucus carota) is easy to see.

Photo by Patsy Bell Hobson 

Parsley has always been an annual in my garden. Until recently. In the spring, last year’s parsley grew tall and fast. Instead of the usual plant that grows about a foot tall, this plant grew to about 3 feet. Then, this overachiever bloomed. That’s when its family tree became apparent; parsley is related to dill.

I always plant a lot of parsley because I love it and the butterflies love it. It makes me happy to see an invasion of parsley-eating caterpillars. They love dill and fennel, too.